Things to DoCome enjoy the magical island of Yap
Annual Special Events
March 1st – the island's biggest cultural celebration and the most colorful day of the year
June – Come celebrate the beginning of summer when families and friends, new and old, reunite at the Living History Museum in Colonia.
November – a cultural celebration of traditional navigation and canoe building
The reefs surrounding the islands of Yap are home to a rich diversity of tropical marine life. Our most popular natural resource is our resident population of manta rays, which divers and snorkelers have a good chance of seeing on an almost daily basis.
Usually found inside the lagoons, the dive guides in Yap are expert at finding the mantas, plus a host of other animals to keep visiting divers and snorkelers entertained. Yap also boasts lively colorful coral reefs and walls teeming with sharks, trevallys, nudibranchs and another favorite, mandarinfish. Most of the operators offer dive classes from introductory snorkeling and scuba lessons through advanced levels of instruction. For a complete list of Yap's dive operators, please click here.
Glide through mangrove forests or through a narrow canal excavated in the early 1900s. Kayaking offers peace and tranquility as the kayak slices through the clear, warm waters early in the morning. Or watch the setting sun dip below the horizon with only the sound of the paddle dipping into the shallow lagoon. Kayaking can easily be arranged by some hotels, dive shops and independent tour operators.
Deep Sea Fishing
Fishing in the deep, clear waters of Yap produces yellowfin and skipjack tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi (also known as Dorado or dolphin–the fish, not the mammal), rainbow runner, barracuda, red snapper, grouper and trevally. Local fishing charter companies, as well as some of the hotels, offer half and full day charters. Equipment and tackle varies. Please ask your hotel for more details and options.
Hiking / Biking
Breathtaking views of Yap can be seen while hiking and biking. Tamilyog Trail bisects the island and, as the trail winds down through the forest and up through the grassy highlands, hikers can get down to nature in this natural outdoor classroom. Local flora and fauna abound on this two-hour hike. Although it's not a difficult hike, it can be strenuous in parts and might not be for everyone. Other hikes around Colonia feature ancient stone paths and can easily be completed in less than an hour. Biking is an option for an afternoon. Yap's roads are well maintained and the major roads are paved. However, there are no bike paths and bikers must use caution when biking along the main roads. Several hotels offer bike rentals.
Traditional Canoe Sailing
Visitors can arrange for a ride on a traditional sailing canoe. Some of the hotels offer this service and one can explore the calm seas of the inner lagoon aboard these ancient craft. Traditional sailing canoes traversed the Pacific Ocean over the centuries, and this method of transportation is still practiced today.
Yap Visitors Bureau is making a concerted effort to promote the research and preservation of Yap’s World War II history. In this undertaking, we have partnered since 2008 with Patrick (“Pat”) Ranfranz whose uncle, T/Sgt John R. McCullough, was shot down and declared missing on June 25, 1944.
The Yap Living History Museum (YLHM)
YLHM is a unique museum which puts traditional skills, values and ideals at the forefront and increases the public's knowledge of the significance of traditional culture as well as the history of Yap islands. Museum activities include reenactments, traditional dances, live arts, cooking, storytelling, canoe sailing, weaving and handicrafts. The elders of Yap are a treasure of wisdom. They also contain the knowledge of traditional skills and myths of the past. It is important that these skills and stories are not lost on the next generation. YLHM is an educational arena for old traditions to come alive once again. The Yap Living History Museum is in the heart of Colonia, across from Chammoro Bay, near Yap Courts. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the museum's coordinator, Falownug Kenmed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit us on Facebook
Yap offers year-round birding opportunities of endemic and migratory species. With a land area of only 38.7 square miles, Yap offers lush tropical forest, grassland, savanna and scrubby brush as well as low-lying wetlands that are particularly important to migratory birds. Yap is also blessed with several indigenous species: the Yap Monarch, Yap Greater White Eye and the Plain White Eye.
Come to Yap and explore our ancient Pacific culture and traditional ways of life. Yap has one of the last remaining Micronesian cultures and no visit to Yap is complete without experiencing the old ways up close and personal.
There are many different island tours available, weather permitting. Please ask your hotel or travel planner for more information.
Yapese Arts and Souvenirs
Yapese arts and handicrafts can be found throughout the islands.
Manta Ray Bay Hotel and the ESA Bay View Hotel also offer handicrafts and a selection of souvenirs in their gift shops.